From Bluestacks to Apple Arcade to Xbox Game Pass, Android on Windows 11 has many competitors.
The Android world will invade Windows PCs in 2022. Microsoft is currently conducting Beta testing on 50 Android applications from the Amazon App Store on Windows 11 in preparation for the public release next year. At the same time, Google will also launch Google Play games on PC next year.
You can already find support for Android applications on Chromebooks, and Google claims that by 2021, the participation of Android applications in the Chrome operating system has increased by 50%.But Android on Windows 11 will help developers and game studios piggyback on PC a lot of Greater market share to obtain higher revenue-and narrow the gap with Apple’s huge advantage in-app sales.
In theory, this all sounds great! Especially for people working from home who want to enjoy their favorite Android games on a larger screen, or for people who like to buy a cheap Android phone and can use its superior PC for better benchmarking.
But in practice, there are enough reasons to be skeptical. The success of Android on Windows depends to a large extent on the choice of optimization, performance, and available applications. Both Microsoft and Google products may encounter speed bumps on the road to success.
Android (not including Google) has the potential for a messy PC
Our colleagues at Windows Central have tested Android on Windows 11 and are generally impressed with its initial features. You can resize apps, pin them to the taskbar, use Snap Layouts, and generally enjoy apps in any way you want. This is reminiscent of using apps in DeX mode on Samsung tablets.
They do notice that apps tend to use a healthy amount of memory, so if you don’t have enough available RAM, you can get your PC to capacity by just opening a few apps at once. But it is promising.
Unfortunately, neither Google nor Microsoft (or both) want to play with each other, so the Windows 11-Android integration uses the Amazon App Store instead of the Google App Store.
Only a few well-known apps such as Kindle and Comixology are available through this Amazon Appstore beta; you must load Android apps on Windows 11 to get the most popular apps. Although a few enthusiastic Android users like sideloading, rooting, etc., most people will give up when the app does not appear in the search results.
Without the Play Store, Android on Windows 11 is beginning to be at a disadvantage.
Apps in the Play Store use Google Mobile Services and Google Play Services. These enable applications to be updated with the latest security and privacy tools, while also providing access to specific Google firmware and services. This means that Android developers must build and keep updated the second version of their apps for Fire tablets and Windows. Many developers lack the resources or economic incentives to port mobile-based software to larger screens and smaller user groups.
Fire tablets have limited app availability because they are very cheap and people mostly buy them for streaming apps. But Android on Windows 11 cannot get rid of this. The inability to access your favorite apps on the $1,000 screen will cause most people to ignore the app store and use browsers and bookmark URLs instead.
What makes me hopeful is that Microsoft and Amazon want to make this service a success so that they can make their own Android profits. They might even incentivize big-name developers to work with them.
How many developers will put in work to make resizable applications?
At the same time, many developers are currently making their applications respond to different screen sizes in preparation for Android 12L early next year. Most developers never bother to adjust the size of their apps for Samsung DeX mode, but with the simultaneous launch of 12L for tablets/foldable devices and Android for Windows, more developers may make this leap.
In the end, if people can enjoy faster Android application performance on a laptop than on a budget Android phone, it is worth looking forward to.
Google Play games and stacked PC game lineup
We have compared Play Pass and Apple Arcade in the past, but this is a comparison of apples and oranges. Play Pass provides you with 800 games and apps, collaborates with popular mobile developers to develop some great Play Pass games, and provides ad-free access to a large number of apps. At the same time, Apple Arcade offers about 180 games, most of which are unique to Arcade-all of these games are optimized for iPhone, iPad and MacBook.
With the help of Google Play Games for PC, it will bring “the best advantages of Android and Google Play gaming ecosystem” to Windows PC. Just like Apple Arcade allows you to use the same saved files on your MacBook and iPhone, your saved content will be transferred from your Android phone to your Windows device. According to reports, it will simulate Android applications and PC-ready games at the same time.
What is not clear is whether you need to own the app or whether this is a subscription. If Google plans to acquire exclusive games like Apple does, how many games will it launch when it launches, assuming the cost of the subscription, and whether it will use Stadia-supported cloud streaming or let you download the application to your computer , This is fair.
How will Google Play Games compete with other PC gaming platforms?
How does the PC version of Play Games compare to the PC version of Xbox Game Pass, which may have a lot of problems? Against Google’s own Stadia, which provides access to actual AAA games instead of mobile games? Or against major PC heavyweight companies such as Steam and Epic Games Store, which have a lot of free games, giveaways, and big promotions for popular games?
It must also compete with Bluestacks, which is a free Android game emulator that can stream more than 200 Android games through the cloud.
Google is stepping out of the comfort zone of its Play Store monopoly and entering the proper PC melee, in this area it doesn’t have much history. With its notorious record of being killed by the Google project and the terrible release of Stadia with a limited exclusive sale, it is fair to be skeptical about the chances of Play Games to make an impression.
In view of the exclusivity of Apple Arcade to Apple products, Apple Arcade is not a true “competitor.” But it is worth noting that Apple’s advantages in such services.
Apple controls the chip design and production of its own mobile phones and computers, so it can optimize the performance of iOS/macOS without relying too much on RAM to increase speed. In the case of Apple Arcade, it can optimize its exclusivity specifically for the M1 and Bionic AX chips.In addition, the undeniable fact is that the Apple App Store is a lot of For developers, it is more profitable than the Play Store, making Arcade an attractive way to attract a user base.
At the same time, Google will have to make this application work across the entire PC ecosystem and different CPU types, from AMD to ARM to Intel. Whether Google uses emulators such as Bluestacks or Rosetta 2, cloud games (aka Stadia), or compilers such as Intel Bridge, its job is to make Play games run smoothly on various PCs.
Keep my fingers crossed
When the Android/Windows news was first released, I speculated that this might make our technology purchases more isolated. Just as the M1 MacBook and iPhone go hand in hand, Android applications on Windows can bring these two platforms closer together.
This will definitely happen in 2022. But no matter how the system runs, its impact will be limited by which of the best Android applications enter Windows, which games jump from Play Pass to Play Games, and how Google and Microsoft are performing in the market and supporting their respective services.
Android’s growth in the PC field may greatly promote its applications. Or, it might be a niche service that doesn’t make much impression. Next year, we will see if Google and Microsoft are up to this task.